BOSTON (CBS/AP) – Police chiefs and gun safety activists are pressing Massachusetts lawmakers to give the chiefs discretion over issuing firearms identification cards needed to buy rifles or shotguns.

Former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis spoke at the State House rally Tuesday and recalled an incident where a man killed an 80-year-old and then held police hostage using a shotgun after Davis had issued him an FID card.

Davis said he only learned later the man had mental health problems.

Davis said the House version of the bill, which gives police chief more discretion on issuing FID cards, could have helped him prevent the man from obtaining the gun.

The Senate version of the bill strips out that measure.

Davis asked legislators “to put a sensible bill in place to protect the citizens of Massachusetts.”

John Rosenthal, founder of Stop Handgun Violence, said legislators need to support first responders and activists need to put pressure on the conference committee “to do the right thing.”

Gun rights activists, including the National Rifle Association and Massachusetts Gun Owners Action League, have praised the Senate.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)



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